Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock
To the east of North Berwick on the East Lothian Coast of Scotland, on a high sea cliff, stands the ruins of Tantallon Castle. Built in the 14th century from local Red Sandstone, it was for Scotland a rather unique build. It comprises of a strong outer curtain wall, basically in a semi circle, enclosing the Castle buildings, with the sea cliffs providing an extra defensive wall. During its history, it has had to withstand several sieges, not totally unscathed, but for the most part it stood firm. It may well now be a ruin (though well protected and preserved) but definitely worth exploring, from battlements to dungeons.
If you climb to the very top of the battlements you will also be rewarded with a view across the outer Firth of Forth to the famous Bass Rock. Bass Rock was once a Hermits Sanctuary, then a Castle guarding the Firth., and even for a time a Prison.
Today it is the home of one of the largest island Gannet Colonies in the World…..hence its white appearance. The Rock itself is a 320 million year old volcanic plug and at high tide stands at 107 meters tall.
You can visit Bass Rock, many thousands of Bird Watchers and others do. Boats from North Berwick provide the service. However be warned, it is very much tide and weather dependant. Over many years, at what should be good weather and conditions, the sea’s have conspired against us. It is here that the outer Firth of Forth meets the North Sea, tides, turbulence and wind are the masters of the waterways. It is still on my to do list.
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2020